Today’s RepMan is dedicated to our West Coast demi-god Ann Barlow.
I’d be a very rich man indeed if I had a dollar for every follow-up e-mail to an unsolicited e-mail that’s filled my morning in-box.
Typically, the follow-ups are entitled, “I was wondering…” and usually followed by the words: “if you received my e-mail last Thursday and if you, and your direct marketing team, are ready to schedule a 90-minute exploratory meeting to discuss the technical infrastructure needs in Estonia, and how my company, Estonia Water Works & Fried Chicken, can be of assistance.”
Typically, I ignore these unsolicited follow-ups.
But, I received one this morning from a 16-year-old aspiring actor who has spammed me no fewer than three times to tell me he’s selected Peppercomm to be his publicity agent for the foreseeable future.
This guy, Kaz, has “…some training, appeared in high school and regional plays…” and, like most of us, “is just one break away from hitting the big time.”
Worn down, but also amused, I decided to respond to Kreepy Kaz this time. I told him we’d disbanded our Hollywood publicity division and fired our West Coast President, Ann Barlow, after her bungling of the Charlie Sheen, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus “incidents.”
I told him Peppercomm was actually the “kiss of death” for would-be superstars like Kaz, and suggested he send his unsolicited requests to some other firm that has better luck with star struck teens.
Besides, I don’t have any more time for Kaz. I need to craft a response to the space representative who’s been sending me unsolicited e-mails urging me to act now and place full-page ads in Bolivia Today, “the number one publication serving South America’s next economic power.”
I’m thinking of telling ‘Enrique’ that we’ve already earmarked our South American marketing dollars for Chilean World News. We’re hedging our bets that Santiago, and not La Paz, will be the next big financial center of the universe.
Julie: There’s one of two explanations why PR people pitch you: laziness or stupidity. Either way, it’s inexcusable but, sadly, not at all surprising.
I once worked in a place where that happened and the manager said “try it anyway….we might get lucky.” No it was not EPB.
This is classic, RepMan. But here’s another situation: I am constantly receiving pitches from PR folks… and I keep telling them I am a PR person — not Editorial. Why would a PR person pitch a story to another PR person?! Oy.
Is Kaz wearing his Eagle Scout uniform? C’mon you gotta help him out!
Hilarious stuff, C,.A.. FYI, I also routinely receive follow-up e-mails from a Turkish Defense Ministry trade publication asking me if I’d like to run a full-page ad. I’m thinking I wait until the Hamas/Gaza Strip crisis dies down before making a go/no go decision on advertising. Advice welcomed.
Here’s one I just received with a subject line, which I suspect was crafted for its stopping power:
RE: Isn’t it time to move to the big leagues?
I pondered this for a few seconds and realized at an existential level, it begged the question, what if I thought I already WAS in the big leagues?
Did this guy just dis me and slap down my multi-billion dollar employer? Am I seemingly delusional in my understanding of my personal and professional place in the universe? And how/why is this guy willing to pluck me from his third-party evaluation of my sub-pro obscurity?
I want to believe him. I want to hitch my back-watered career wagon to his star so that he could, oh wait… The entire email pitch (in its third round as far as I can see) is to get me to move beyond drop box and basecamp. So wait, all this for cloud-based tools? That is what is going to make my career or catapult my company into the big leagues? Well, I guess I ought to send this guy a reply, maybe start a google docs exchange, or grab my strategy down from the icloud server or a hightail that high concept promo video or hit delete?
Now back to that free copy of The Ministry of Silly Walks game.